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Re: [css-variables] CSS Variables are a NEW kind of variable

From: François REMY <fremycompany_pub@yahoo.fr>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 21:23:04 +0200
Message-ID: <A22095FA3C7A45ACAB2565BB09474E80@FREMYD2>
To: "Divya Manian" <manian@adobe.com>, "Sylvain Galineau" <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, "Chris Eppstein" <chris@eppsteins.net>
Cc: <www-style@w3.org>
| No browser should use a user-defined variable to implement a feature (for
| example: Using current syntax: var-hover-color: red; should never be
| parsed and rendered to apply to all elements which go to hover state).
| Currently all browsers that claim to implement CSS are required to parse
| and applt properties defined in CSS specs (e.g. 'Background-color').
| [...]
| I think there are sufficient differences to merit defining variable as an
| entirely new definition without piggybacking on CSS properties.

Not the same arguments again and again :-(

CSS user-defined prooperties are CSS properties the same way HTML's data 
attributes are HTML attributes.

- HTML Attributes usually have to be defined in a spec
- HTML Attributes usually have an effect on the element rendering or 
- HTML data-* attributes are framework-defined user-provided attributes 
which have NO effect on page rendering/behavior.
--> they use similar mechanisms as CSS variables to affect the document 
--> and yet they are still HTML attributes.

You can find more about this in my 'June 4' summary [1]

| Typically variables have a default value that is set to inherit/none or
| one of the options that the property can take. In this case, the default
| value used to be a mysterious invalid, but is now an empty string. I do
| not know of any css property that has this default value.

The first time we introduced 'auto' as a default value for a property, there 
was also no property having 'auto' as default value before. I don't see why 
'my-prop: ;' can't be a good default for a property. This is not forbidden 
per spec, and this makes sense.

| What I fear is that we will soon find new usecases for variables that
| would suddenly alter our perception of what they are and then we would
| want to alter the definition of a property to accommodate for the new use
| case and then a whole lot of bikeshedding will occur on whether this
| existing property should be altered and then 100 people will chime in on
| how it will break everything that exists on the web.

The use cases include things I already mentioned in my previous summary on 
the matter. You should read it. I agree there can be more use-cases we're 
yet to find but I don't see how a user-defined property approach is going to 
hurt them since this is actually how things will work at the implementation 
level. Hiding that behind a layer will not change that fact.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2012Jun/0050.html 
Received on Thursday, 14 June 2012 19:23:34 UTC

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